“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller
Something is happening right now, on this planet. Can you feel it?
It’s like we are in the death throes of a way of living, a way of being that is no longer working, in politics, education, economics, and medicine. The cracks in the institutions we have always held sacred are growing and the structures are being toppled. But like a phoenix from this ash, a new story is emerging.
This story is about second chances. About radical healing. About the body, mind, and spirit as a web of near infinite complexity. About shedding labels. About freedom from ritualistic dependency on doctor priests and their sacramental prescriptions. The ambassadors of this new story are speaking out. We are brimming over with enthusiasm for what is possible. For the beauty, depth, and radiance that can emerge from the most painful wounds.
I used to practice conventional medicine, and when I was prescribing, I perceived only two options: scary disease (inborn chemical imbalance) or responsible medical management (pharmaceutical chemical correction). I never cured a single patient and I considered a good outcome to be a patient who was no longer in active crisis, but who had achieved a state of resumed “functionality.” In fact, built into our assessment methodology as psychiatrists is the GAF — the Global Assessment of Functioning. Because apparently that’s all someone with mental illness can ask for, right? Simply functioning, not living.
And, of course, now even that treatment expectation has been revealed by the escalating disability rates to be a direct consequence of the very treatment that claims to support functionality.
Now, it is my passionate belief that every person on earth has the capacity to transform their human experience. To shed diagnoses. To come into contact with their souls, find their gifts, and experience the mysterious magic of this human experience. Without medication.
What I have found is that tapering off of psychiatric medication has become the initiatory ritual of our time. We no longer take our young men out into the wilderness for a vision quest. We have lost our elders and are ever more susceptible to the tactics of a society that seeks to control its populace through fear. We have lost our compass, lost our way, and we have been lead to believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry — safe being the illusory promise of pharmaceutical medicine, sorry being the potential for your own mind and body to drive you straight to death if left to its own devices.
There is a way to leave this temple of fear and subservience, however. And it begins with your experience.
This is N of 1 medicine, where randomized trials, piles of curated medical papers and statistics are rendered secondary to your personal, individualized experience. Your experience can be cultivated through a deep commitment to self-care predicated on the essential belief that you can heal — that you have a second chapter to your life still in you.
I have found that, since I put down my prescription pad after reading Anatomy of an Epidemic (and healing myself from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), decades of medication injury, processed food, and toxic thinking can be undone in the space of one month.
This is how forgiving our bodyminds are. My patients have trashed themselves for decades, and after one month of dietary change, daily meditation, detox, and psychospiritual support, they are reborn.
But don’t take it from me.
Meet Rose. She spent 25 years on 5 medications, suicidal the entire time. She was bed-bound after her medication discontinuation and further injured by an antibiotic exposure before we met. She discusses the tools that she implemented and that we augmented to bring her to a place of expressing how much joy she feels, simply waking up and being alive today. Watch her here.
Meet Ali. My office was Ali’s last stop. She and her family were looking for residential facilities because her symptoms were so disabling, chronic, and unresponsive to conventional treatment. She had collected numerous diagnoses over her lifetime, including Eating Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoria, Depression, Generalized Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder. She made five real suicide attempts, had been hospitalized multiple times, and was delusionally agitated for several days around her period every month.
What unfolded in two months defies everything that I learned in my conventional training. We tapered her off of medication, and she was not only symptom-free, but reborn.
Ali’s case is pending publication in a peer-reviewed, indexed journal. Watch Ali here.
Meet Shauna. Shauna’s healing and redemptive recovery from years of disability, suicide attempts, and near homelessness makes clear one simple message: healing and recovering from mental illness and psychiatric medication injury are possible for anyone. Shauna was not a patient of mine, but she participated in my online program, Vital Mind Reset, which I created to cut out the middle man and put the tools of healing directly into the hands of individuals.
Learn about how she did this program on food stamps, why she thinks volunteering was a major element in her process, and how she now is med-free and has had the diagnosis of Bipolar scrubbed from her medical record. Also get ready to watch me cry beginning with the introduction, because Shauna’s experience was living proof of everything I always believed was possible. Watch her here.
Meet Stephanie. A physician who has been awakened by the truth about the body’s capacity to heal. Tapered off of medication, feeling vital, and revived through lifestyle changes, she will be paying this forward in her own pediatric practice. Watch Stephanie here.
These are only the women that we could get on camera! We are cataloging more reclamation narratives on my website, and my passion project has been the dissemination of these healing tools through my book A Mind of Your Own and our online program and community. No doctor required.
The power of one person healing is that they create the morphic resonance for others to then occupy. When it happens once, it becomes more likely to become a reality for another.
At a time when people are being euthanized for depression because they believe it to be a life sentence to mental illness and chemical management, it has never been more critical to spread the truth that healing is possible. Share the light of these stories and know that we are building a new model that makes the old one obsolete.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.